Another busy weekend is at hand in the MAC, who has loaded Saturday schedules all through October, then goes to a bizarre schedule in November with games nearly every day of the week.
12:00 PM, ESPNU- Central Michigan at Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is certainly capable of looking past a team like Central Michigan, but the Chips haven’t beaten anyone on a level like Virginia Tech has played the last two weeks. Line: Virginia Tech by 22. I’m inclined to think this is a blowout, 45-20 Virginia Tech.
12:00 PM- Western Michigan at Ball State: Ball State rose up and won last week, while WMU fell to Idaho. The Broncos should win this one, unless Ball State has really turned a big corner. Line: Ball State by 5. Sorry, but I’m really not prepared to pick the Cardinals to win just yet. I could be wrong, but one game doesn’t have me convinced. Broncos win an ugly game 17-13.
12:00 PM- Temple at Northern Illinois: This could be the game of the year in the MAC. NIU has the #12 rushing attack in the country despite a slower start than Temple has seen. This should be a classic midwestern ground game. Line: Northern Illinois by 3. I picked NIU to win this one in my preseason review, and I’m still thinking they get it, 24-20.
2:00 PM- Bowling Green at Ohio: Bowling Green is coming off a close loss to Buffalo at home, while Ohio is looking for their identity too. Loser of this game is probably out of the race for the East division. Line: Ohio by 9. Vegas seems to think Ohio comes to life this weekend. I’m not as sure. I do think Ohio wins, but not by 9. 27-20.
3:30 PM- Akron at Kent State: This rivalry game, featuring schools only a few miles apart, features two teams that are off to dismal starts. Akron is 0-5, while Kent State is 1-3 and lacking a win against a FBS school. Akron won this game last year, ruining a good season for Kent State. Line: Kent State by 17.5. Another line I think is too big (meaning one or both of these two will in fact be blowouts). Kent State should win, but they’ve only scored 17 points once this year. I think this is a 17-7 game.
7:00 PM, ESPNU- Eastern Michigan at Vanderbilt: I can’t imagine what choices ESPNU had that made this their pick for the prime time game. Line: Vandy by 25.5. This is the first bad team Vandy has faced all year, so I have no idea how they’ll perform. That seems like a lot of points, even for an SEC team. Vanderbilt wins 40-17.
7:00- Miami at Cincinnati: Cincinnati is off to a slow start this year, and while Miami is a much improved team, I think the talent gap is still going to be tough to overcome. Line: Cincinnati by 17. I really don’t know with this Miami team. They haven’t show much ability to score on BCS level teams, so they could have a tough time this week. I think it’s something like 34-14.
8:00, WAC Sports Net- Toledo at #4 Boise State: This game will be much tougher for BSU than NM State was last week. Toledo can put up some points and has a decent non-BCS level defense too. They’re not likely to be in the hunt for an upset by the 4th quarter, but Boise can’t sleep on the Rockets either. Line: Boise by 39. I hate these lines for Boise- that’s an absurd number of points to demand they win by, but if they don’t, they’ll fall further in the polls. I think it’s too much this week, Broncos win 50-20.
Virginia Tech -22 vs. Central Michigan
Western Michigan +5 at Ball State
Northern Illinois -3 vs. Temple
Bowling Green +9 at Ohio
Akron +17.5 at Kent State
Eastern Michigan +25.5 at Vanderbilt
Cincinnati -17 vs. Miami
Toledo +39 at Boise State